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THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 1999202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Cocaine use among adult male arrestees has declined over the past year, according to a report released today by the Department of Justice. Cocaine remains the drug most commonly found in test results of female arrestees, but is now second to marijuana among male arrestees. The report, Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program: 1998 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, was released today by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

"We have made progress in curbing drug use over the past quarter century," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "The ADAM data are very encouraging to those who must cope with this problem at the local level--police officers and drug treatment providers--but we still have much more to do."

The ADAM study reveals that drug use trends tend to be localized. In Miami, for example, 53 percent of adult male arrestees tested positive for cocaine use, while in San Jose only 8 percent of that group tested positive. Among adult female arrestees, more than two-thirds tested positive for cocaine in New York City compared to less than 10 percent in San Jose. In San Diego, Sacramento and Salt Lake City, more than 20 percent of both the male and female arrestee populations tested positive for methamphetamine use. But, in Anchorage, Laredo and Minneapolis, methamphetamine was almost undetectable among the arrested population.

"ADAM provides local information that helps law enforcement officials and treatment providers address the drug use and abuse problems that are specific to their communities," said NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. "Data collected under the ADAM program reveal the unique drug abuse problems throughout this country and, more importantly, the need to develop appropriate, related interventions and treatment approaches."

The study found that high rates of methamphetamine use are largely confined to Western U.S. cities, particularly in San Diego, Las Vegas, Spokane, Sacramento and Salt Lake City, where more than 20 percent of both the male and female arrestee populations tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. Other analyses, however, show that in Albuquerque, Tucson and Seattle, overall rates of methamphetamine use are less than 5 percent. Methamphetamine users have historically been more likely to be white or Hispanic and more likely to be female than male.

The study also found that overall opiate use remains stable and widespread among arrestees, unlike the irregular geographic concentrations found with methamphetamine use. Each region of the country has at least one major center of opiate use. In addition, several communities, including New Orleans, Philadelphia and St. Louis show alarming and growing rates of heroin use among young offenders ages 15-20. High rates among young users suggest that these communities may face enduring heroin problems in years to come. The study also found that nearly 70 percent of confirmed heroin users also test positive for cocaine, an indication that treatment interventions with this population will need to address the problem of abuse of multiple drugs.

Marijuana use is concentrated among younger arrestees, particularly young males. For example, 87 percent of the 15-20 year-old males in Oklahoma City tested positive for marijuana and, in 9 of the 35 ADAM sites examined, over 70 percent of that same age group tested positive for marijuana.

Marijuana is the primary drug used by juvenile arrestees. On average, more than half of juvenile males tested positive for marijuana, ranging from approximately 46 percent in Indianapolis to around 63 percent in Phoenix. By contrast, 3.5 percent in Portland and 14.6 percent in Los Angeles tested positive for cocaine. San Diego had the highest percentage of juveniles who tested positive for methamphetamine, about 12 percent. Opiate use remains very low among juvenile arrestees.

In 1987, NIJ created the Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) Program, a national and local information system on drug abuse and crime. In 1997, the DUF Program was redesigned and renamed ADAM (Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring) to reflect the anticipated geographic expansion of the program and its development as a research platform for use locally, regionally and nationally. ADAM also facilitates locally initiated research on topics related to drugs and crime identified by communities.

The ADAM Program consists of collecting and analyzing interviews and urinalysis of adult and juvenile arrestees and detainees in police lock-ups. Once fully developed, ADAM will serve as a source of information about drug use in our nation's cities, suburbs, rural areas and Native American sites.

In 1998, the ADAM program conducted interviews and drug tests with more than 30,000 recently booked arrestees in 35 major metropolitan sites. Attached is a list of the 35 sites. One-page summaries of the drug use patterns in each of the 35 sites are available. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Department of Justice, is the primary sponsor of criminal justice research and evaluations of programs to reduce crime. For additional information about NIJ, the Internet address is For more information on the ADAM program, the Internet address is General information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is available at

Copies of the 1998 ADAM Annual Report, as well as separate reports on methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine, and marijuana are available on the Internet at, or from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) by calling toll-free, 1-800/851-3420.

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NIJ 99-081

After hours contact: Doug Johnson or James Phillips at 888/491-4487 (pager)




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